Franz Theodor Reizenstein
1911.6.7 Nürnberg, Germany ~ 1968.10.15 London, England
Franz Reizenstein was born in Nuremberg on 7th June 1911. His father, a doctor, was interested in painting and other artistic matters, and provided his family with a helpful and sympathetic background. Franz’s sister was artistic, his brother was an amateur violinist, while he himself, from an early age, displayed remarkable gifts as a pianist and composer. He also possessed perfect pitch. So it seems likely that, in different circumstances, he might well have made his mark as a child prodigy. And it was not just a case of his being a composer who also played the piano. His technique was capable of the biggest works in the piano repertoire, and throughout his life the twin pursuits of piano playing and composition made up the two equal halves of his musical personality, and were inextricably bound together, each influencing the other.
In 1930 Reizenstein went to the State Academy of Music in Berlin, where he studied composition with Hindemith, piano with Leonid Kreutzer.
Hindemith required of his pupils that they should acquire at least a working knowledge of all the standard orchestral instruments. As Reizenstein said:
He arranged for his students to take up different wind and stringed instruments in turn... We played together regularly and provided most of the music by composing it ourselves. We would not let anyone listen to the ghastly noises we produced-not that anybody wanted to but we did learn how to write for the various instruments.
Hindemith thought most highly of him, and three guiding principles established during his years of study were never lost sight of later. First, a sense of tradition as being something present, active and growing. He became closely, intimately acquainted with the classical and romantic repertoire, and saw his function as a composer in terms of a continuation of that tradition. Second, a strictness and a discipline in composition, particularly as far as counterpoint was concerned. Third, a rejection of dodecaphony, atonalism, serialism, and all other avant-garde experiments. He aligned himself artistically with the established norms of tonal composition, as far as idiom and structure are concerned, and worked from that basis without reservations. His knowledge and love of the standard nineteenth century repertoire were too profound to admit of their being usurped by an allegiance to one of the more experimental schools of thought that began to be rife in Europe in the 20s and 30s, and have grown since.
An article on Hindemith’ summarises his teacher’s, and his own, aesthetic standpoint:
In all branches of the arts there exists a desire to delve into decadence and revel in the macabre, both things far removed from Hindemith’s ideals. Vociferous advocates of surrealism, who proudly proclaim that they have freed music from the shackles of tonality, tend to minimise Hindemith’s great achievements because he had the courage to expose the basic errors of their doctrine. Any music cast in traditional form or idiom is suspect in their eyes, even if it is of first-rate craftsmanship. They may continue their delicious dance around the serial golden calf indefinitely; this is of little consequence to the general public, who will decide in the long run which kind of twentieth century music it wants to hear. Some irresponsible critics, over-anxious to jump on the avant-garde bandwagon, present a false picture of Hindemith’s position in present-day music, but most musicians agree that his music will live for a long time to come. [The Listener, 20th March 1964].
As soon as Hitler came to power in Germany, Reizenstein realised the evils of Nazism, particularly for those of Jewish birth; and so in 1934, at the age of twenty-three, he left and came to England-the first contemporary composer to do so. His choice was helped by the fact that an uncle on his mother’s side lived at Kingston. He continued his studies at the Royal College of Music in London; composition with Vaughan Williams, and (later) piano with Solomon.
He never subsequently lost his respect for, nor the influence of, Hindemith, in spite of the very different influence exerted by his new teacher. He found Vaughan Williams much freer, less rigid; just as influential, but in a different way, as his was a dominating personality, both musically and spiritually. Other pupils found this to be the case, that Vaughan Williams was overwhelming as a teacher to all but the strongest; but in the case of Reizenstein it is difficult to think of anyone in England at this time who could have provided him with a more inspiring contrast to Hindemith, or who could better have introduced him to the nascent English tradition, which was from now onwards to form the background to his work.
From Solomon, who revolutionized his attitude to the piano, he learned insistence on tone-quality in piano playing, and on the greatest control of touch, in so far as touch is the chief means of varying tone quality. Control of tone, particularly at a pianissimo dynamic level, and mastery of legato-a sense of melodic continuity, in spite of the up-and-down movement of the keys and hammers-were the cornerstones of this technical approach, which Reizenstein derived from Solomon. And technique arose from the music itself.
Later (1958) Reizenstein was given a post at the Royal Academy of Music as teacher of piano; and later still (1964) at the Royal Manchester College. He was never appointed to teach composition at any of the official music colleges in this country; and he only did so on a more humble, semi-amateur basis, in evening classes at the Hendon Music Centre and, much later, in America.
The later 30s were years of difficulty for him, of struggle and privation. He was entirely involved in music, dedicated and professional. Both then and subsequently, composition and recitals were his life; but not, to start with, his livelihood. All his energy went into music-making, yet he was never saturated. It was inevitable that sooner or later he would triumph; but this was not to be before he had undergone considerable hardship. On the outbreak of war in 1939 he was interned on the Isle of Man, along with many others of non-British birth whose naturalisation papers were not quite in order. In Reizenstein’s case, a concert tour of South America in 1937/8 [With the Violinist Roman Totenberg, who later played in his Boston concerts, 1966 (see p. 148).] had interrupted the continuity of his residence in this country. However during his internment he was active in arranging concerts and performing in them.
Throughout this period Vaughan Williams helped him as much as he could; by writing on his behalf during his internment, by putting work in his way, such as piano arrangements or editing. Later in the war Reizenstein volunteered for the army, but was not accepted owing to his poor eyesight. He was given a job as a railway clerk for a while-and he even managed to write part of his Viola Sonata, Op. 20, during this period.
Just as his musicianship was made up of two equal halves-piano playing and composition - so his personality displayed two chief features, the serious and the funny; the romantic and the impish. As he took pleasure in observing, he was born under Gemini. He took great delight in jokes, whether musical or practical; and these found a natural outlet in the diversions of Gerard Hoffnung in the 50s, which were a much needed counterbalance to the overwhelming seriousness that came over British music at this time. For these extravaganzas Reizenstein contributed specifically humorous scores (a notoriously difficult task), such as ‘Lets fake an opera.’, or ‘Concerto popolare’. He also introduced a light note into more solemn surroundings; for instance into his choral work Voices of Night. Moreover, an element of fun formed an important part of his personal relationships. But he also liked peace, and the beauty of nature, which he found particularly conducive to composition.
Of his forty-eight compositions with Opus numbers, three-quarters consist of piano and chamber music. This was the medium in which his romanticism found the most apt expression. His pleasure in chamber music was the pleasure that comes from intelligent, cultured discourse between colleagues. He was fortunate in finding excellent musicians to perform his works, a fact which is itself an eloquent testimony to their worth: Max Rostal, Leslie Parnas and Maria Lidka, who was a regular member of his Trio. [Franz Reizenstein (Piano), Maria Lidka (Violin), Rohan de Saram ’Cello). (Also Derek Simpson and Christopher Bunting in earlier years)]
Reizenstein’s first published work (1936) was the Piano Suite, Op. 6; but the first piece that brought him wide acclaim was the Prologue, Variations and Finale, Op. 12, for violin and piano, written for Max Rostal (1937-8), and later re-written for violin and orchestra, Op. 12a. The first ideas for this piece came during the South American tour in 1937, between Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile; the finale is based on South American rhythms, ‘en forme d’une Danse Fantasque’. The movements follow without a break, and are characterized by a brilliantly rhapsodic virtuosity, and an insight into instrumental technique, shown by a knowledge of fingering, free use of harmonics and so on, not often found among English composers. The form is cyclic; that is to say, four themes are heard throughout, first stated in the Prologue and developed in the Variations. The range of mood is wide, the texture highly varied.
After leaving Hindemith, he gave rein to his romanticism; which is to say that the effect of the music comes from the way its movement is controlled-at what dynamic, pitch or volume; with what degree and rapidity of harmonic consonance or dissonance-rather than from any theoretical organisation of the musical elements abstracted from, and independent of, their resulting sound.
Another outstanding piece for violin and piano is the G sharp sonata Op. 20, written for Maria Lidka. This has greater tonal freedom than the earlier piece. If the combination of major and minor modes may be traced to Vaughan Williams, and the prevalence of the interval of the fourth to Hindemith, the overall style is considerably more than the sum of these two constituent parts. The opening movement, in strict sonata form, develops great warmth in its long-sustained arch-like phrases, a marked characteristic of this composer; and this is admirably balanced by the second movement, which is a scherzo in all but name, and which contains Spanish rhythms, such as the Jota, and passages which recall the strumming of a guitar. The finale juxtaposes a slow violin cantilena, which has a misterioso piano background, suggestive of the rustling of trees in the wind, against a more vigorous, more contrapuntal section, in which the instruments discourse on equal terms. The main subject of the first movement returns, and the work concludes in a blaze of romantic glory.
This work marks the end of the first phase of his work, and there followed a two year gap (1945-47), partly devoted to film work, before he embarked on the central, most productive period of his life. This began with the Scherzo, Op. 21, and ended with the Second Piano Concerto, Op. 37; between these two works are included most of the large compositions by which he is chiefly known. First come two outstandingly successful pieces, the Cello Sonata, Op. 22, and the Piano Quintet, Op. 23. With the Cello Sonata Reizenstein emerges from his two-year silence with increased stature, and with greater command of his individual style of poly-tonality. Within the accepted limits of sonata form, implicit in a tonal idiom, he develops greater freedom of line than in works of the earlier period. Both instruments are used in virtuoso manner, and the characteristic juxtaposition of contrasted moods occurs in the second (scherzo) movement, in which a vivace theme, built in fourths, is followed by a poignant, rhapsodic, cantabile theme (lento), full of tonal ambiguity and contrast of colour-the sine qua non of romanticism. The finale is graded in excitement; an adagio introduction, which contains most of the material to follow, leads to the main A major theme (allegro amabile), which in turn develops into agitato.
The Piano Quintet, which was his favourite, is the largest of Reizenstein’s chamber music compositions, and most fully sums up his contribution to this branch of music. Refined, polished, its four movements firmly grounded in the classical sonata structure, the work can justifiably be placed beside the great chamber works of the past. In his development of the melodic-harmonic-tonal methods of the nineteenth century, and within the context of the English tradition, Reizenstein discovered his characteristic polytonal idiom. And the slow second movement of this Quintet, in which by definition the pace of harmonic change is comparatively slow, is an excellent illustration of the fresh discoveries that lay in store in 1949 for a composer who was able to pursue a path that, according to some, was played out. The chromaticism after [o] is complete, and the twelve notes are used freely; yet never once is the tonal control lost. This section of the slow movement also contains much rhythmic and contrapuntal development, yet always within the framework of a regular underlying metre, so fundamental to the chamber music style.
The scherzo movement gains in brilliance from the larger ensemble. The material, taken from what has gone before, is shared between the instruments with a sense of gay abandon which Reizenstein never surpassed. There is no contrasted mood in this long movement, but nor is there any need for it; the momentum, once established, runs its appointed course. Not till the finale do we encounter any slackening of intensity; starting andante sostenuto, the music builds up, as in the Violin Sonata, to allegro vivace, then agitato. After considerable contrapuntal work, canonic imitation and so on, the instruments come together on the final page for a brilliant conclusion.
To this middle group of works also belongs Reizenstein’s small but important output of choral compositions. The first of these, the cantata Voices of Night, Op. 27, was written in 1950/1, and first heard in June 1952. The appeal of this work immediately led to two more commissions-the radio opera Anna Kraus, Op. 30, and the oratorio Genesis, Op. 35, which was first heard at a Three Choirs Festival in 1958. The librettist for all these works was Reizenstein’s close friend, the poet Christopher Hassall, who also collaborated with Walton (Troilus and Cressida) and Bliss (Tobias and the Angel).
Both Voices of Night and Genesis suffer to some extent from the swing away from the old oratorio tradition that has already been referred to, though Voices of Night suffered less than the other work in this respect, since its subject is not specifically religious; moreover the composer’s sensitivity to the English language helped to make it a popular success. The work is a sequence of poems invoking night, starting with the onset of night, finishing with the dawn. When the poetry is romantic, contemplative, the composer achieves a most apt result. Such moments occur on No. 1 ('How lovely is the heaven of this night’) and No. 10 (‘On thy cold shore, O Death’); the music and the words develop in true partnership. But in the poems whose mood is less reflective, the function of the music can only be to add colour to the words; and in such circumstances, with banality just around the corner, Reizenstein’s characteristic idiom needed to be held severely in check to avoid inconsistency between words and music. No. 3 (‘Sweet Suffolk Owle’) and No. 4 (‘The bread is all baked’) are examples of this more objective sort of word-setting. The composer’s model for this aspect of his work was Vaughan Williams’ Five Tudor Portraits; it is no surprise to hear that Vaughan Williams approved of Reizenstein’s vocal style. But such word-painting, verging sometimes on naivete, implies a lessening of the role of music in relation to the poetry; and this was precisely one of the reasons contributing to the decline of the old English oratorio.
Reizenstein’s second choral work, the oratorio Genesis, consists of the story of the Creation, as related in (Genesis, interspersed with poems from various sources to add imagery to the original story. As well as arranging the text, Hassall contributed one poem, in which he sets forth the tendency of our age to risk the negation of God’s creative work through the misuse of man’s knowledge; other poets represented are Blake, Milton, George Herbert. The soloists are the same as in the other choral work-soprano and baritone. Curiously, however, the oratorio is in many ways more successful than the cantata; the composer himself preferred it. Though it attempts less, it is better integrated, and more developed a work, and though it fits more obviously than the cantata does into a limited tradition, rooted in the past-the much-vaunted British choral tradition-it is more consistently compelling than the other work, whose roots are shallower. Its style is more characteristic of its composer’s maturity; the use of the fourth may be traced to Hindemith, the use of moving triads to Vaughan Williams, but the polytonal counterpoint is the product of the two, and a marked feature of Reizenstein’s idiom.
Can it be that one accepts the somewhat academic convention of fugal choruses in a specifically sacred work, whose milieu is an English cathedral, with fewer reservations than one has about such a device in a work designed for concert use? For instance, the choral writing in No. 3a of Genesis (‘And Man became a living soul’) may be conventional, but it is at the same time considerably more evocative, and apt, than the fugal writing for male chorus in Voices of Night with which Reizenstein seeks to adorn the immortal words:-
He who goes to bed, and goes to bed sober,
Falls as the leaves do, and dies in October;
But he who goes to bed, and goes to bed mellow,
Lives as he ought to do, and dies an honest fellow.
Such an admirable sentiment hardly requires traditional fugal treatment, or indeed musical treatment of any sort (except perhaps satirical) for its full message, with all its undoubted depth of philosophical insight, to be conveyed.
But the fugue is an illustration of the lighter, impish side of Reizenstein’s personality. It is intended as a joke.
After Genesis two further works complete the central group of compositions: Five Sonnets of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, for tenor and piano, Op. 36, and the Second Piano Concerto, Op. 37. Then followed the second gap in his output, lasting from 1960 to 1963, which was at last broken by two pieces for wind instruments. As all Hindemith pupils were obliged to write for, and to play, all orchestral instruments, writing for the wind instruments came naturally to Reizenstein; particularly the clarinet, which he played with greater application than the others. His last composition was a Sonatina for clarinet, Op. 48, of which he had completed only two movements at the time of his death [The manuscript is dated July-September, 1968]. This piece was intended to be as approachable a work as the Oboe Sonatina, Op. 11, written over thirty years earlier.
The last years of his life were prolific, and his compositions included the three Solo Sonatas, the Concert Fantasy for viola, the Second Piano Sonata in A flat, Op. 4c, and the Concerto for String Orchestra, Op. 43.
The Concert Fantasy, Op. 42, was finished in 1966 in Boston, U.S.A. It was written for Elizabeth Holbrook, and in addition to calling for a virtuoso technique, it is a substantial recital piece, exploiting an instrument whose repertoire is somewhat limited in this respect. It is in one continuous movement, whose various sections alternate slow with fast. The tonal scheme is classical, while some material (at [G]) introduces a new display technique for the viola. It is possible that Reizenstein was influenced in this work by the Walton concerto; the two composers were on friendly terms, and Reizenstein admired Walton’s music. This was his first composition for the viola; and he followed it the next year with another major work, the Solo Sonata Op. 45, also written for Elizabeth Holbrook.
It is perhaps surprising that his natural bent for the piano, combined with his innately romantic temperament, did not result in more compositions for that instrument. But such works as exist are big pieces, and they repay the closest study. The Twelve Preludes and Fugues, Op. 32 are a brilliant exposition of that polytonal idiom, made up of the coupling together of the major and minor modes in a contrapuntal texture. The whole composition is dedicated, very appropriately, to Hindemith, since the order of the keys is that of Series I evolved by Hindemith as the foundation of his theory in The Craft of Musical Composition. The Series presents the notes in the order of their relationship to the nucleus tone C. It is also used as the main theme of the first Prelude. Unity is achieved between each pair by introducing the Fugue subject into the Prelude, though sometimes in a disguised form; in some of the pairs, there is no break between the Prelude and its accompanying Fugue [In Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11. The composer has suggested possible groupings for performance when it is not possible to play the complete set: 3, 4, 5; 6, 9, 10; 3, 7, 8; 1, 2, 3, 4; 11, 8, 12,; 11, 12]. This composition, with its combination of contrapuntal ingenuity and sheer intellectual toughness, obviously recalls Hindemith’s Ludus Tonalis.
A nine year gap separates it from the next piano piece, the Second Sonata, Op. 40; and indeed twenty years separate the two piano sonatas from each other. The first, dedicated to Walton, had been widely heralded, on its publication in 1948, as one of the most important works of the century; with the second, Reizenstein reached mature fulfilment. If romanticism can be defined, at least in part, as the outpouring of music in terms suited to a particular instrument, then this second sonata is romantic pianism par excellence. It is also intellectually and dramatically conceived. It opens with a slow motto (tranquillo), partly melodic octaves, partly B-A-C-H [The notes B flat-A-C-B natural] harmonized in triads. From this the first movement (allegro) is derived. The second movement is in memory of Christopher Hassall, who had died the previous year (1963), and uses material derived from the opening of Genesis. The Finale, largely in two parts only, is a brilliant vivace, almost a perpetuum mobile. The motto theme triumphantly concludes the work.
Reizenstein’s last large-scale composition was the Concerto for String Orchestra, Op. 43, which was not performed until January 1969, after his death. It is in no sense a virtuoso concerto; neither soloist nor solo group is set against the rest of the orchestra. It is a work of a subdued nature, though calling for strength and urgency in performance, and the four movements are of serenade dimensions, in which the instruments are used in different relationships to each other, whether homophonic or polyphonic. The tonality of the first and last movements is C, while the other two movements use the tonality a minor third lower (A) and a minor third higher (E flat) respectively. The first movement uses a miniature sonata form, with little or no development, and the second theme (poco meno mosso) grows as a countersubject over the first. The customary scherzo is highly characteristic of this composer, while the principal theme of the slow movement moves in short, cumulative phrases, and its two appearances are separated by imitative passage-work, starting in two parts. After an introduction in E flat minor, based on the third movement material, the finale starts, inevitably, with a fugue in G Fourths predominate in the working out, and after a brief interlude (un poco tranqillo) the fugue subject is recapitulated, starting on F and in a varied form.
Orchestral composition did not come easily to Reizenstein. Not only did Hindemith’s training make it more difficult for him to think, and write, orchestrally, but the linear, contrapuntal style that was so peculiarly his, was not suited to the orchestral medium. His purely orchestral works are few, and reflect his sense of fun: the concert overture Cyrano de Bergerac, for instance, is light in style. He also wrote the Ballet Suite, Op. 15, which was commissioned by the Arts Theatre. He started a symphony, but never finished it.
It was in the concertos that he achieved fulfilment as an orchestral composer. In the two piano concertos, particularly, he found in the sheer joy of a virtuoso solo part sufficient compensation for the general absence of that contrapuntal and fugal development which was so central to his style, but which is somewhat out of place in a romantic solo concerto.
In the use of a tonally-centred idiom, such as Reizenstein’s, the degree of musical intensity imparted to the listener can be measured by the frequency of change of the tonal centre. Frequent changes, close together, induce a sense of approaching climax with much greater urgency than infrequent changes, more widely spaced out. Clearly an instrumentally-conceived phrase is susceptible of greater rapidity of change than one which is vocally conceived; the human voice can only with difficulty assimilate frequent changes of tonal centre. And it is remarkable that the rate of tonal change in the first piano concerto is greater, generally speaking, than in the second concerto, which came after the choral and vocal compositions, and was influenced by them to some extent.
Reizenstein’s true style has an inner vitality, a poetry, which lies in the content of the notes rather than in the notes themselves. The concertos differ from the chamber music works in that they demand a more rhetorical, emotive, exuberant style, which is proper to the romantic concerto, but which can all too easily lead to empty excess, as sections of the violin concerto show.
But his insight into string writing make the cello and violin concertos rewarding, if difficult, to play. The early Cello Concerto is perhaps less original a work than the other, and not readily accessible to the ordinary listener, though Reizenstein himself liked the work, and Leslie Parnas, who had played it through with the composer in Boston, during rehearsals for the Sonata, performed it for the BBC in 1969 [Bryden Thomson conducted the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra], and intends to take it into his repertoire.
The salient points of Reizenstein’s tonal idiom may be summarized under the time-honoured headings of melody, harmony and rhythm. Among his most frequent melodic characteristics are a breadth of phrase, a symmetry of design; also a fondness for a group of notes (two or more) a semitone apart, followed by a major or minor third, or triad perhaps, either upwards or downwards; by this means the composer combines chromatic and tonal elements in the melodic line. His harmonic style rests on two foundations, already mentioned; one, the combination of different tonal centres, to produce an effect of polytonality; the other, the prevalent use of the fourth, which derives from Hindemith’s teaching. As far as Reizenstein’s rhythmic structure is concerned, a regularity of metre was an intrinsic datum of his contrapuntal technique, and his sense of rhythm was an essential part of his unfailing craftsmanship. The avant-garde meant nothing to him; he was not so much an innovator as a searcher-out of existing techniques. Furthermore, as already mentioned, his ability to write a genuine vivace, scherzo movement was inherently part of his style, and singled him out from most English composers. Indeed it was a reflection of his lively personality and sense of humour, which found such witty and pungent outlet in his contributions to Gerard Hoffnung’s musical extravaganzas in the 50s.
One such work, the Concerto Popolare, or Piano Concerto to end all Piano Concertos, was heard in November 1956. The story behind it is as follows:
'Once upon a time a pianist and a conductor were engaged to play a concerto with a well-known orchestra. Unfortunately, the management omitted to specify which concerto. The pianist came prepared to play the Grieg, but the conductor decided otherwise. It was to be Tchaikovsky’s famous First-or none at all! Musicians are naturally temperamental and neither would give way. Eventually after a struggle during which fragments of Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, Beethoven, popular songs and other oddments were heard flying through the night air, the pianist was overwhelmed by the superior forces. He gave way, not without a gallant attempt to have the last chord.’
The performance, we are told, was a resounding success in every sense of the word.
Of equal importance to him was his highly successful work as a concert pianist, from the moment when he first won recognition in the 30s, right through to the end of his life. He first made his name by his performance of Hindemith’s Ludus tonalis, as well as of his own works. His last engagement as a pianist was, perhaps appropriately, on Nuremberg Radio, in September 1968, when he played his Second Sonata and Zodiac Suite, Indeed, at the very moment of his sudden death the following month, he was preparing Hindemith’s Piano Concerto, Kammermusik No. 2, Op. 36, for a broadcast
Reizenstein was a natural pianist. As well as playing his own works, he was conversant with the broad stream of the classical repertoire. His playing had nobility, and a wide emotional range; he also possessed, in full measure, the composer’s urge not merely to analyse what he played, but to investigate for himself the lesser-known byways of music; and his catch included rarities, such as Tchaikowsky’s Concert Fantasy, Bizet’s Variations Chromatiques, and Dvorak’s incomplete Piano Concerto, which he edited, revised and arranged-as Dvorak himself had at one time intended to do.
Curiously perhaps, Reizenstein had no very high opinion of Hindemith’s piano style, which he considered awkward, unpianistic. He did however play his teacher’s piano pieces frequently, and Ludus Tonalis was the model, as we have seen, for his own investigations. He had a great admiration for Bartok’s work, particularly as shown in that composer’s understanding of the piano; though he never copied the percussive style. 1 The other contemporary composers that chiefly excited his admiration were Walton and Shostakovitch.
His appearances in concerts and radio performances were very frequent; moreover, towards the end of his life, when his name was more known internationally, his services as teacher, lecturer and panel member began also to be in demand. He spent six months in 1966 (January-June) as visiting professor of composition at Boston University in America, where he went at the invitation of Professor Jean Philips to teach composition, with particular reference to his own works. While there he appeared in two concerts specially devoted to his own compositions. This provides one more instance of the enthusiasm and the readiness with which American musicians acknowledge the proven worth of British composers, which their British colleagues are sometimes very slow to give; Gerhard and Fricker are two further instances of this unfortunate trend. In the case of Reizenstein, a number of fine compositions, particularly in the field of chamber music, and a marked individuality of idiom, place him among the important composers of the contemporary period.
List of compositions by Franz Reizenstein
Other works without Op. No.: (Orel Foundation)
Scores in collaboration with Gerard Hoffnung:
Film scores include:
|The Mummy (1959)||Circus of Horrors (1960) (Phantom of the Circus)||The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964) (uncredited)|